Cooling Down A Hot Suppressor With Ice?

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My friends over at The Gunshow Podcast snapped this picture of a Silencerco Saker soaking in their ice chest after a range day.

I reached out to the guys over there to get the story behind it and was told that the owner of the can predictably mag dumps a couple of mags at the end of the range day, then has the realization that he now has to pack up a suppressor that you could cook bacon on. Apparently the owner of the suppressor will cool it off by pouring some water on the suppressor slowly until he can get it off, then drop it into a ice chest for the drive home. While I am not sure that the suppressor can take that kind of abuse, the Saker is one of the toughest cans on the market currently.

I can’t tell you how many times I go to the range, shoot pistols for a hour or two, then mill on over to the rifle line to finish out my day not thinking about having to pack up a hot suppressor. I want to hear what you guys do to cool down your suppressors, is there a better option for dealing with hot as hell suppressors at the end of a range day?

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Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and works in the shooting sports industry. He is an avid recreational shooter and a verified gun nerd. With a lifelong passion for shooting, he has a love for all types of firearms, especially handguns and the AR-15 platform. Patrick may be contacted at tfbpatrick@gmail.com.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Henrik Bergdahl

    Perhaps get a nomex bag or something to put it in if in a hurry?

    • Dave Y

      Nomex is better than nothing, but depending on what you get temps between 500-800 F can cause some degradation. I’ve seen 940 F as measured by a digital thermometer just past the blast chamber. That was with only rapid semi auto fire out of a SBR.

      At this point, the Duraheat 2 is well cured 🙂

      Also, it’s good to keep the suppressor out of contact with anything for a while to let it air cool. coming down from 800 F, you would be surprised at what will melt off and stick to the can.

      • Gary Kirk

        Normally the pads of the fingers of new can owners…

  • I hope no one ingests the ice after that.

    • PK

      I’m glad I wasn’t the only one with that immediate reaction.

      • carlcasino

        Better not have your tap water lab tested? You would use the suppressor for a straw.

  • Ambassador Vader

    I have a couple oven mits i turn into a can cozy.

  • Thamuze Ulfrsson

    I’m worried about the heat treatment of the can being altered in some way.

    • Giolli Joker

      The core is stellite (sintered Co alloy) that shouldn’t be particularly affected, I don’t know what is the tube made of. Any martensitic steel could harden becoming more brittle (by the water being poured on it when it is VERY hot, not by the ice bath when it can be handled); given full auto rating of the suppressor however I suppose they chose a material not so easily affected by thermal gradients.

      • Jwedel1231

        I would be more concerned about the suppressor steel softening at high temps than becoming brittle if quenched. As soon as it heats up again (3 or 4 rounds) the steel would anneal once again. Of course if it never heated up enough to anneal in the first place, then quenching shouldn’t be an issue either.

    • Ambassador Vader

      Might be a good test to rapidly heat and rapidly cool, rinse, wash, repeat until a can fails just to know where those limits are.

  • Theo Braunohler

    No idea if it will affect the can, but only a moron would contaminate an ice chest, which is made to contain food and beverages, with lead. Especially when it only takes a couple minutes to cool off enough to put into a suppressor pouch. This is really one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen here.

  • Andy

    Showing my ignorance here, but if you are at a public range, where presumably others folks are shooting unsuppressed, why even bother with the suppressor? You still need ear protection because of the other guys. Or are there public ranges that are suppressed only?

    • BillC

      It still helps. Suppressors are the best muzzle device in that it takes the edge off shooting your firearm (noise and concussion), regardless of the noise from others. This is doubly true if you’re the one shooting next to the wall.

      This is the same concept of shooting supersonic ammo with a suppressor (like 5.56mm). You’ll still get the supersonic crack, but the edge has been taken off.

      • Andy

        Thanks. As a primarily pistol shooter, I hadn’t thought of that.

        • BillC

          Don’t even get me started with pistol cans. It helps accuracy, even when the sights are blocked and you have to “shoot through them”. With a G19, I can usually get 4 out of 5 shots on a head shot at 35 yards. With a G19 and a suppressor, it’s 5 out of 5 and they are grouped into the size of a clenched fist. It’s just that the can puts usable weight out front to keep that muzzle down and it takes a lot of the recoil off.

          • Nicholas C

            I dont know if that is true. Think of super slow motion video of a pistol or firearm firing. The bullet has left the muzzle before it has even begun to rise. Now the weight the can may be counteracting smaller movements that you may be imparting into the gun prior to releasing that round.

          • BillC

            What am I, a physicsologist? For some reason, which somebody (most people) smarter than me could probably explain, with a pistol suppressor, with everything else held equal, I can shoot better; with better being the two variables of accuracy and precision.

          • Henrik Bergdahl

            There is a reason that target pistols have weights at the end of the barrel. 🙂

          • kcshooter

            So what? The reaction still happens at the gun in your hand, and the addition of weight out front absolutely drops recoil, which for most shooters inherently increases accuracy. Simply put, heavier gun = less recoil.

    • Sianmink

      PoI shift. If you’re shooting with the can, you need to sight in with the can.

    • David Sharpe

      As someone who almost exclusively shoots at an indoor range here in Canada, I wish silencers were legal.

      With the super short ARs that are prevalent here, even doubling up on hearing protection isn’t enough to drown out the sound. It’s still quite loud.

  • BillC

    “I reached out to the guys over there to get the story behind it and was
    told that the owner of the can predictably mag dumps a couple of mags at
    the end of the range day, then has the realization that he now has to
    pack up a suppressor that you could cook bacon on.”

    this is me, every damn, time.

  • gunsandrockets

    The heck with cooling down after shooting, what about starting off cold? Would a frozen silencer take appreciably longer to overheat than one at room temperature?

    • Nicholas C

      Sounds like article material to me!!! Now whose can should I try? Freeze the can over night and shoot a mag dump. Record the temperature. Do a few more mag dumps and log the temp. Then try again with the can starting at normal temperature. And repeat the same runs. Then compare the temperatures.

      • Midwest Marco

        When you freeze or put in a cooler it involves moisture. What would effect would this have on any spent powder in the baffles? Powder mud?

      • Marco Antonio Gonzalez

        I already try that with a complete different object, old metal core transformers. Not much different result using them from ambient temperature to one frozen overnight. My guess would no more than one extra mag before having cooked bacon

      • gregge

        Also, just for shitzengiggles, wrap some slices of bacon around one to see if it really can cook it. I’d recommend using a stainless steel suppressor for that test.

  • Texas-Roll-Over

    It depends on the temperature the silencer is brought to and the type of material the silencer is made of.

  • Fred Garvin

    Bowers suppressor cover

    • TennTexan

      Tried it. Hated it. First and only range trip with the Bowers cover on my Saker, I wound up launching the cover downrange. It expanded when it got hot, loosened, and slipped off the front of the can. When I tried to pick it up I dropped it reflexively because it was too hot to touch.

  • Steve

    Silencer Shop includes (or at least included, for a while) a heat resistant mitt with all suppressor purchases. Unless you’ve got a giant .338-.50BMG can, I’ve found the mitt to be perfect for wrapping a hot can before throwing it in the range bag. Every time I use the mitt it’s always reminded me of the old M60 asbestos mitt (and associated training comics) for barrel change-outs for some reason…

    FWIW, Knight’s QD cans include two ’emergency’ procedures in the manual – submerging in water for emergency cooling, and shooting a seized suppressor off the barrel using a blank with an unlatched locking mechanism.

  • iksnilol

    I prefer to cool the can before heating it.

    So keep it in the ice chest whilst driving to the range, not when driving from it.

    • J0shua

      Is rapidly heating a cooled suppressor ok?

      • iksnilol

        More okay than rapidly cooling a hot suppressor. 😉

  • Bob

    Oh, sure #SUPPRESSORPROBLEMS, the struggle is real, blah blah blah.

    I can’t own a suppressor regardless of tax stamps where I live… I am jealous that you even have that problem and hate you all. ;D

    On a more serious note, my solution to the more mundane problem of a hot gun is simply to bring a variety of firearms and cycle to a slower paced one and not firing it much to wind down so the really hot one I just dumped mags through has a chance to cool. My slow and lazy brass collecting also helps a lot.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Feel free to join the free world whenever! 🙂

      • Joshua

        America is not the only country in the “Free World” but many of them do prohibit suppressor ownership, also, many of us in the non-amarica “Free World” are also watching you taking bets on how long you will retain your membership in the “Free World” so, you might want to take a look at your kettle before insulting someone else’s pot.

        • J0shua

          Chill bruh, u making us look bad, dude was joking and any insult in there was mild and directed toward the dumb ass laws. Although I do understand how thinking about said gun laws can get someone all hot and bothered

  • Nicholas C
    • BillC

      Now do a test! That’d I like to see rather than industry “news” on the latest greatest fancy colored self cooling ultraslick shaved bolt carrier group.

      Mmm… data and graphs.

      • Nicholas C

        I dont have the barrelcool but I am considering/planning on testing a 556 can and 308 can to see how freezing it prior to range affects temps vs shooting them at ambient temps. Will also try wetting them and see how that affects temps.

        Will probably record how long it takes the cans to cool down to ambient temps.

        To keep the tests consistent I will do so many mag dumps.

    • John

      There it is. That’s the other one I was looking for.

  • zack991

    That is a really stupid thing to do. Great way to make the metal brittle

  • Midwest Marco

    I have an Armageddon Gear suppressor cover on my Sig Sauer SRD762Ti-QD. The cover has an elastic cord that snugs the cover tightly on. I got it mainly to reduce the mirage effect in the scope sight picture. I also have a insulated silicon hot pad I got at Target for six bucks. I usually bring two rifles to the range. Shoot the suppressed one first. By the time I’m done shooting the second rifle the suppressor is cooled down enough remove and to wrap in the hot pad and head home. With the freezing and cooler methods I wonder what effect the moisture would have on any spent powder in the baffles. Powder mud?

  • Marco Antonio Gonzalez

    I wonder if you can use a can of compressed air to cool off both barrel and can. Just an idea since i don´t get close to any firing weapon

    • Yes, I cool beer, er, soda like that in science class. Typically with expired fire extinguishers.

  • Bill Scheuch

    As a welder/fabricator, quenching metal after it reaches temperatures like that is never a good idea. Hannibal famously heated boulders with fires and then used olive oil to quench and crack the rocks so that he could build a pass allowing him to escape a dead end cliff in the alps. High heat + rapid cooling is not good for molecular bonds.

  • Blast a couple 12gram co2 canisters down them, or hose it down with a fire extinguisher.

    A couple co2 cartridges are much cheaper.

  • kcshooter

    So dumb. How does he not know how dumb this is?
    I bring one of my 22’s every time, and thats what I shoot while the other rifle(s) and suppressor cool.
    Even if I didn’t, I’d have the good damn sense to wait it out as it aircooled.

    Freezing it first won’t help. Might take 2-3 shots longer to hit bacon-cooking temps, but I’m sure that’s it. And I’m not sure that I wanna subject frozen metals to 60k psi and extreme temps at the same time. Especially with different metals, like alum/steel or Ti/steel units, that heat and cool and expand at different rates.

  • william Grubel

    The obvious answer is to not leave the range. Just stay and keep shooting until well after dark. It will be cooler and your can will cool quicker. By the time you do pack up the beer will be colder because you won’t have to put that hot can in there. Surely your wife won’t mind and neither will the range master. 🙂